I wanted the president to win four years ago. I want him to win again, in six weeks' time. And I want President Obama to win on 6 November more, far more, than I wanted him to win four years back.
I will give you my reasons.
I will give you reasons that have less to do with specific policy-content than with what his re-election means to me somewhat more generally. The specifics, the details, I've made clear over time, here and at numbers of other sites and in a variety of iterations. I want Barack Obama to be re-elected and resoundingly also for what one might call process-and-cultural reasons.
(These are presented in no particular order.)
1. I want those who have tried to deny voting rights in over thirty states a half century since the Voting Rights Act, in order to suppress the votes of minorities, students, and the infirm elderly, I want them slapped across their collective very ugly face and soul so hard that no party even dreams of trying to enact this evil again.
2. I want the extremism of the so-called Tea Party to be run into a ditch from which it cannot in our lifetimes hope to paw its way out.
3. I want the misogyny far too many Republican candidates foment and tolerate discredited to the point that it cannot be defended or promoted with a straight face in national debate.
4. I want the religious-based hateful rhetoric, overt and more subtle and cynically deployed against this president by those who see American religious minorities as problematic at best...I want that rhetoric to take a terrible, lasting hit.
5. I want that minority of my fellow American Jews, my fellow Zionists, who think that only their favored Israeli political parties' positions must control my nation's Near East policies without genuine give-and-take between intelligent allies...I want those Jews to see this president receive at least 75% of Jews' votes now. (Jews' voted for the president in 2008 by 78%-22%.) And I want, in time, for them to see that Israel is in fact safer when real, even edgy, back-and-forth, takes place.
6. I want the the election to show clearly that the 'Citizens United' Court decision has been a wholesale failure in accomplishing what it was designed to do -- derail Mr. Obama and others by allowing billionaires and corporations to try to hijack the democratic process.
7. I want leadership, standing up for thoroughgoing equality under law for LGBT citizens, to be roundly approved by our national electorate.
8. I want the strenuous efforts to return my country to a pre-New Deal, venal public-be-damned, communitarianism-be-damned ethos to be repudiated soundly.
9. I want the men and women who serve in our military to continue to be, in turn, served by a president who has won their support through positive behavior toward them and by rejecting jingoistic and simplistic international knee-jerk behavior designed for domestic political consumption by the least intelligent, the most cowardly-at-heart armchair-generals among us.
10, I want no one ever to be able to think, let alone say with a straight face that '08 was somehow an historical anomaly which has now been 'remedied'.
11. I want a chance to help enact health care legislation that goes well further than the Affordable Care Act does toward universal coverage.
12. I want a president who respects religion enough to know that our Constitution restricts religious institutions' influence in public life and in law.
13. I want the sole true genius of American Exceptionalism to continue to be raised up by our leadership for what it is: our Constitution and its Bill of Rights.
14. I want there to be a chance again, and in my wife's lifetime and in mine, and in my son's young adulthood...a chance at having once again a Supreme Court and Federal Court system that honors the Justice ideals that our parents held and taught us and that we have taught our son, the ideals we hold sacred.
Oh. And one more:
I've a bet on a terrific steak dinner at either Timpanos or The Palm...or a dry bagel at a deli...as well as for a fine victory cigar, with a former student, a very fine young guy who is also supporting Mr. Romney. I'm also the cheapest guy I know and need to win.